The Risk of Staying on the Regular Road

Open road going into the sunset
James Lenz Photo
Professional Development Manager

2 minutes

The CUES Podcast Episode 58 suggests that there’s more safety in adapting your business to generational needs.

Why is studying the new generations of consumers so important? 

According to Jeff Fromm, knowing about the next generation gives businesses clues about what to expect from them. Because the members of various generations have lived through key experiences in history (such as the 9/11 bombing or the JFK assassination), they may have a common outlook with their peers.

“For business, youth culture is the canary in the coal mine” about what is to come, says Fromm, president of FutureCast, a subsidiary of the Barkley advertising agency and a speaker at CUES’ Execu/Net, Aug. 19-22 in Sedona, Ariz.

“I wasn’t the first person to use Venmo,” Fromm says. “But if I want to pay the babysitter or the lawn boy, they look at me like I’m crazy if I say, “Can I write you a check?” So I use technology for that transaction.”

Fromm says in the podcast that his interactive session at Execu/Net, “Strategies for Winning With Empowered Members” will first help participants get facts about what today’s modern consumers expect from brands. Second, it will look at consumers’ technology habits and the profit opportunities across generations. Finally, it will examine best practices, including case studies of financial and non-financial brands. 

Fromm says in the episode that Gen Z has its “security setting” on high, whereas millennials did not. Brands, he adds, are going to have to respond to that with transparency and privacy.

What is the greatest opportunity credit unions might miss with future consumers? Fromm says it’s “not being willing to give up schema you have in favor of schemas that will better meet their needs.”

In addition to how shifts in consumers’ expectations impact business, key takeaways from this episode include:

  • How to think about loyalty in the future
  • The importance of boards thinking about the future—“tomorrowland”

“We grew up in an age of storytelling,” Fromm says. Today’s new “consumer lives in an era of ‘storyliving’. They expect brands to help them in co-living.” This is important because this May’s college graduates and even high schoolers are already forming financial relationships. 

Be sure to get all the details by listening to the episode.

The CUES podcast is an audio program hosted by James Lenz, CUES professional development manager. James talks to credit union and cross-industry experts for their perspectives on trends and topics that matter to you.

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